Game design studio OKOMOTIVE’s core principle is to develop a strong and unique concept that does at least something good and doesn't try to please everything and everybody. With FAR: Changing Tides, the team aimed to connect different elements in one game: it is a post-apocalyptic but chilled vehicle adventure game with astonishing visuals and relaxing game-play mechanics.
FAR: Changing Tides is a companion title of the studio’s first game FAR: Lone Sails. The designers tried to combine learnings and feedback they've got from the first experience and to squeeze all this information into something that still represents the core elements of the first game but at the same time feels brand new. While the first game had a length of three to four hours playtime, FAR: Changing Tides targets six to eight hours. The designers had to figure out how they could stretch the existing mechanics to a longer extent without losing the players’ interest.
The OKOMOTIVE team sends out heartfelt thanks to their publisher Frontier Developments PLC and to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for their support.
«At OKOMOTIVE, we aim to connect gameplay and atmosphere to create meaningful and breathtaking journeys»
How does the gameplay work in FAR: Changing Tides?
In a fight for survival, the player has to overcome the elements by guiding the protagonist, Toe, who awakens to find themselves alone, stranded in a flooded world. What once was home is now transformed into an unfamiliar and sometimes hostile environment. Players experience the thrill of captaining a distinctive seafaring vessel. Together they’ll brave high seas, navigate intense storms, and plumb the perils of a briny deep in search of precious fuel and salvage.
FAR: Lone Sails was very successful; how did that influence the concept of FAR: Changing tides?
It was indeed a tricky challenge to on the one hand integrate established and beloved elements of the first title and maybe transform them and on the other hand add new mechanics, characters and narratives to get the interest of the gaming community. Expanding on the desolate setting seen in FAR: Lone Sails, the all-new companion title swaps sun scorched, dusty planes for stormy skies and high seas. And while we kept the concept of a main character captaining an extraordinary vessel, we also created new environments, puzzles, and ship mechanics. Extra attention was given to the sound design: the dynamic soundtrack reacts to player and environmental actions, amplifying key moments in the game and heightening the atmosphere, as they create the sounds of the ocean.
Key to the FAR-Franchise are the detailed and complex ships, that guide through the story. Can you give an impression of your intentions around these vessels?
The relation between the hostile environment and the protective vessel is important. So while the vessel is the main challenge to be mastered, it also serves as the new “home” of the protagonist, who has to leave his old one behind. Players experience the thrill of captaining this distinctive seafaring vessel. Steering the ship, raising the mast, angle and billowing the sails, lighting the furnace allows for a meditative, almost existential experience: while players learn to sail the ocean they are also mourning the loss of their home.